Buddhist Temples allowed to conduct Peraheras without spectators

Buddhist Temples have been allowed to conduct Peraheras (pageants) without any spectators, the Government said today.

The Government said that Buddhist Temples and Devalas can conduct Peraheras while ensuring health guidelines introduced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are followed.

A discussion on the annual Perahera of the Kandy Temple of the Tooth was held today with the participation of the Task Force on COVID-19 at the Presidential Secretariat.

At the meeting President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed the Diyawadana Nilame and Basnayaka Nilames to organise this year’s Peraheras at main places of worship and Devalas giving priority to traditional and religious rituals.

The President further said that adequate measures should be taken to hold the scheduled processions of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy and Devalas including Kataragama, Devinuwara and Sabaragamuwa adhering to the health guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“The public is not allowed to participate and view the Perahera at any religious place this year. It is also not permitted to conduct the ‘Pada Yatra’, the traditional walk by devotees who travel from Nallur, Jaffna, Trincomalee and from several parts of Eastern Province to participate in Kataragama Perahera,” the President’s Office said.

The Presidential Task Force for Prevention of COVID-19 emphasized the necessity of conducting all Perahera festivals with the least number of artistes while following health guidelines. It was also decided that artists who take part in a Perahera representing different areas should obtain a report from the health authorities in their respective areas.

The Water Cutting Ceremony should also be attended by the minimum possible number of people. It was informed that steps have been taken to telecast the Kumbal and Randoli Perahera of the Sri Dalada Perahara on TV stations live on all 10 days. (Colombo Gazette)